In some breaking news Monday night, it was confirmed that Warner Bros. has officially passed on Ron Howard’s The Dark Tower. The film franchise based on the Stephen King novel by the same name was being setup for three blockbuster features and two limited run television series’ to bridge the gaps between outings. Essentially, such a requirement was asking too much as studios have faced increased scrutiny this summer for their hit-and-miss big budget offerings. In an era when there is this desire to find the homerun property, it is also important to insure they are safe bets and this was a little too risky.
Despite WB’s seemingly sound logic, many are quick to criticize them over the fact that they may have just passed on ‘the next Lord of the Rings.’ That is how the trades have been referring to this movie for quite some time; however, it goes without saying that the Peter Jackson-directed series was based on a much more popular literature property. Also, it does warrant the mention that Ron Howard is not exactly putting out gem after gem nowadays. While the Beautiful Mind director is certainly capable of putting out a masterpiece, there is always a chance he could release another Da Vinci Code which was despised by critics, but still succeeded on the back of its incredibly popular source material.
Alas, there is still good news to report on this property as Deadline says that MRC (financier of Ted and the upcoming Matt Damon starrer Elysium) is set to back up a Brink’s truck on Ron Howard’s lawn. They are apparently very enthusiastic at the prospects of being a key player in The Dark Tower and it would appear that this thing might actually get done. The only question now is who might distribute the property and whether or not it means the television series is a go. Ron Howard’s production banner was going to use Warner Bros.’s connections with HBO to land the program on premium cable.
Just a heads up, it still appears as if Russell Crowe is attached to star in the franchise should this thing happen. He can next be seen in RZA’s The Man with the Iron Fists , but outside of that and the starring role in Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, he has not been up to much. It would be a huge career boost for the actor to take on such a deep role, so I cannot imagine him exiting.